During a meeting with state governors at the White House on Monday, President Donald Trump brought up the issues of the National Rifle Association and proposed gun laws moving forward.
“Don’t worry about the NRA, they’re on our side. Half of you guys are afraid of the NRA. There's nothing to be afraid of. And you know what? If they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in awhile. And that's okay. They're doing what they think is right. I will tell you, they are doing what they think is right. But sometimes we’re going to have to be very tough and we’re going to have to fight them.”
Trump also mentioned that he met with NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox to discuss the tragedy that took place at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida. During that meeting, Trump mentioned he would favor strengthening the background check system, something the NRA has advocated for, for a number of years, POLITICO reported.
President Trump: "Don't worry about the NRA, they're on our side ... They are doing what they think is right. But sometimes we're going to have to be very tough, and we're going to have to fight them." pic.twitter.com/QV4fjDS6MD— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 26, 2018
Trump and the pro-gun organization are on the same page about arming teachers as a means of preventing future mass shootings.
When the topic was mentioned, however, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) refuted the notion that teachers want to be armed. From NPR:
"I have listened to the first-grade teachers that don't want to be pistol-packing first-grade teachers. I've listened to law enforcement who have said they don't want to have to train teachers as law enforcement agencies," Inslee said. "I just think this is a circumstance where we need to listen. That educators should educate and they should not be foisted upon this responsibility of packing heat in first-grade classes."
According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), more than 100 school districts in his state already arm teachers. From Reuters:
“Candidly, some school districts, they promote it,” Abbott said. “They will have signs out front, a warning sign, ‘Be aware there are armed personnel on campus.'”
A Potential Divide
It will be interesting to watch to see how President Donald Trump's relationship with the NRA changes now that proposed gun control laws are coming out of the woodworks.
Both Trump and the NRA are on the same page about arming teachers, banning bump stocks and requiring all states to report their convictions to the FBI so they go into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
President Trump is currently at odds with the NRA on one major issue though. Trump supports raising the age someone can obtain a rifle from 18 to 21. The NRA, on the other hand, opposes such legislation.